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Winter skills courses for beginners and the more experienced in the wild and rugged Cairngorm mountains. Lead by expert mountaineering guides in the day, you will spend the evenings back at the lodge warming your feet in front of a roaring fire!
The Cairngorms National Park in the eastern Highlands of Scotland offers some of the Scotland’s wildest and most magnificent scenery. The highest mountain range in the UK, they offer the perfect destination for hill walking and munro bagging. In the winter, they become covered in snow and ice, making them and ideal base for winter sports. Sharing the mountains with us outdoorsy types is a plethora or wildlife including golden eagles, pine marten, deer and the mountain hare, which changes its colour in winter to white, to blend in with the snow.
As well as being incredibly beautiful, these mountains are also wild and can be dangerous for the inexperienced and ill-equipped. These winter skills courses allow both beginners and those with more experience to improve their navigation techniques, even in white-out conditions You will learn all the skills for safe movement across snow and ice, how to use an ice-axe and climb difficult inclines using skills like step-cutting. A highly qualified mountaineer with many years guiding experience and a local and intimate knowledge of the area will lead the group.
Hitting the range, you will use map and compass in the safety of the group to steer a course through stunning scenery in the varying terrain of the Cairngorm mountains. More experienced hill-walkers will come to attempt gully and ridge walks. Back at the lodge you will dry your kit and lounge by an open fire before enjoying a delicious two-course dinner.
The winter-skills walks vary in length and difficulty and are tailored to offer a range of experiences for beginners and the experienced alike. You will be in a group, but the ratio of guides to participants is usually 1:6 on the weekend courses and 1:8 on the longer courses, so you will get the individual attention that you need and won’t feel swamped in a group. Whether you are a beginner or more experienced, you will need a decent level of fitness for a full day’s walking. Guides will always assess your competence and make safety their paramount concern.
The accommodation at Fraoch Lodge is comfortable without being luxurious, and the roaring fire and excellent home fare make for a convivial setting. If you can find a large group you can take over the lodge (capacity of 12) and have a whale of a time there and at the local pub!
We select specialist operators who are experienced, qualified and most importantly passionate about what they do. Your enquiry will be passed straight through to the experts who will be able to give you the best advice.